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Democratic National Convention Media Tip Sheet — Colorado State University Experts on Politics in the West and Election Hot Topics

2008-08-19 16:12:00

    FORT COLLINS, Colo., Aug. 19 /EMWNews/ -- As the election

season continues and Colorado prepares for the 2008 Democratic National

Convention, Colorado State University has experts available to discuss a

variety of topics related to politics and issues that are going to be

discussed throughout the election process. Following is a list of faculty

members intended for reporter use only and not for publication.


    John Straayer, professor of political science, has more than 40 years

experience researching and teaching Colorado politics, and for more than 25

years, he has supervised Colorado State's internship program at the

Colorado state Capitol. Straayer can speak on the presidential campaigns,

state candidate races, ballot initiatives and referenda and Colorado

political history. To speak with Straayer, contact Kimberly Sorensen at

(970) 491-0757 or

    Robert J. Duffy is a professor of political science. Duffy's research

and interests include American politics, with particular emphasis on

elections, interest groups and energy policy. He has followed the

presidential campaign closely. Duffy's research has included topics

relating to campaign finance, including the role of independent spending in

federal elections. He is also interested in environmental politics and

policy issues. To speak with Duffy, contact Kimberly Sorensen at (970)

491-0757 or

    Kyle L. Saunders is associate professor of political science. Saunders'

studies and interests include American politics, with particular emphases

on public opinion, political behavior, U.S. and Colorado elections, public

policy - particularly election administration and energy policy - political

parties and political methodology. Saunders' research has included topics

relating to election administration, ideological polarization of the

electorate, campaign finance and political parties, electoral politics, and

citizen participation and efficacy. To speak with Saunders, contact

Kimberly Sorensen at (970) 491-0757 or

    Bill Chaloupka, professor of political science, has also taught and

studied in Montana, New Mexico and Arizona, and has been observing the

politics of Colorado and the rural West for more than 30 years. Chaloupka

can speak about electoral politics and political histories. He also studies

environmental politics in the West and in the United States. To speak with

Chaloupka, contact Kimberly Sorensen at (970) 491-0757 or

    Scott T. Moore is an associate professor of political science. He has

observed Colorado's politics for more than 20 years. He specializes in

state and local politics, public administration, and he has recently

focused his research on Colorado tax politics and the state's

citizen-initiated financial policies. To speak with Moore, contact Kimberly

Sorensen at (970) 491-0757 or


    Martin Shields is regional economist and associate professor of

economics. His primary research focuses on regional competitiveness in

global markets and the effects of economic growth on income distribution.

Shields also provides quarterly forecasts and commentary for the northern

Colorado and Colorado economies. To reach Shields, contact Emily Wilmsen at

(970) 491-2336 or

    Stephan Weiler is a professor of economics and research associate dean

in the College of Liberal Arts, and founding co-director of the

university's Center for Research on the Colorado Economy. His current work

focuses on regional economic growth and development, particularly in

struggling rural areas, combining theoretical, empirical, and policy

analyses in topics such as geographic informational asymmetries,

public/private partnerships, industrial restructuring, housing,

immigration, entrepreneurship and the environment. To speak with Weiler,

contact Kimberly Sorensen at (970) 491-0757 or

    Dawn Thilmany, professor in Colorado State University's department of

Agricultural and Resource Economics, has spearheaded an effort to gauge the

impact of "agritourism" - or touring agricultural areas of the state from

wine country to farmer's markets. The most recent study showed that

Colorado attracted more than 13 million visitors who experienced

agritourism resulting in $2.2 billion in economic benefit to the state.

Dawn is also an expert on organic products and consumer motivations and

perceptions of organics. For more information or to schedule an interview

with Dawn, contact Jim Beers at (970) 491-6401 or

    Steven Laposa, director of the Everitt Real Estate Center, can talk

about the U.S. real estate crisis. He brings 26 years of project

management, real estate development and research experience throughout the

United States, as well as international experience in the Middle East,

Europe, Africa and Asia. He has worked as a consultant involved with

emerging trends in real estate, as an expert witness in property litigation

cases, and on the applied use of statistical modeling in real estate

investment and business strategy issues. To speak with Laposa, contact

Emily Wilmsen at (970) 491-2336 or

    With a struggling economy, many more people are relying on food stamps

to feed themselves and their family, and it's no secret the good nutrition

helps protect health, therefore keeping the workforce well and children

alert and attending school. The Department of Food Science and Human

Nutrition has a nationally recognized food stamp education program that

helps food stamp recipients learn how to maximize their food stamp benefits

by getting items with the best nutritional quality for their family. The

extensive program, which includes bilingual efforts and programs designed

specifically to keep children interested in healthy food choices, serves as

a model for other states. To speak with an expert on the program, contact

Dell Rae Moellenberg at (970) 491-6009 or



    The population of America is aging, and with the shift toward an older

population there are a host of issues for families and communities. The

graying of America raises questions about government policies, and on an

individual level, it raises questions about physical fitness, family

structures, social relationships, sandwich generations, mental health and

support and quality of life for the aging. Manfred Diehl, the director of

the Center on Aging, can discuss how these questions will impact much of

society and thousands of individuals in the next four years. To speak with

Diehl, contact Dell Rae Moellenberg at (970) 491-6009 or


    Vickie Bajtelsmit, finance professor in the College of Business, can

talk about the impact of elections on personal finances, taxes and jobs.

She is an expert on retirement issues and can talk about issues related to

the Colorado Public Employees' Retirement Association. She has written

three books on personal finance. To speak with Bajtelsmit, contact Emily

Narvaes Wilmsen at (970) 491-2336 or



    Climatologist Nolan Doesken is available to discuss drought, weather

observation, weather instruments, historical climate data, descriptive

climatology, precipitation and seasonal weather patterns. He also can

address agricultural, recreational, hydrologic and industrial applications

of climate information. Doesken's 34 years of professional experience in

weather research monitoring, data acquisition, analysis and archiving

provides him the expertise to address a wide variety of drought and other

climate-related questions. He can also talk about the statewide volunteer

network that improves precipitation monitoring and helps provide detailed

drought, water supply and other water decision-making information to

municipalities, homeowners, industries, utility providers, resource

managers and educators. To speak with Doesken, contact Emily Wilmsen at

(970) 491-2336 or

    Neil Grigg, civil engineering professor and renowned water resources

engineering consultant, can discuss Colorado's water history, drought

management, government water resources planning, Western water management

issues, water system infrastructure engineering, flood control and urban

water systems management. Grigg recently published the book, "Colorado's

Water: Science and Management, History and Politics," which presents

long-range views about Colorado's water issues, including drought. He has

authored or co-authored about 200 publications and several books about

water resources engineering and infrastructure. To speak with Grigg,

contact Emily Wilmsen at (970) 491-2336 or

    Global climate change

    Scott Denning is available to talk about climate and global change,

carbon dioxide emissions and natural processes that also control changes in

atmospheric carbon dioxide. He can also talk about the relationship between

clouds and climate. To speak with Denning, contact Emily Wilmsen at (970)

491-2336 or

    Graeme Stephens, director of the Cooperative Institute for Research in

the Atmosphere, can talk about the science of climate change and CloudSat,

the world's first cloud-profiling radar in orbit that he helped design that

tells scientists the amount and type of precipitation in clouds. To speak

with Stephens, contact Emily Wilmsen at (970) 491-2336 or

    Clean and renewable energy

    Bryan Willson, a mechanical engineering professor, is founder and

director of CSU´s Engines and Energy Conversion Laboratory, which is the

largest independent laboratory of its kind in North America and a world

leader in the study of large engines, natural gas engines, two-stroke

engines, and hazardous air pollutants. He is a founder and board member of

Envirofit International Ltd., a private non-profit that has commercialized

CSU technology to solve global problems such as air pollution; co-founder

and Chief Technology Officer of Solix Biofuels, the largest company working

on the development of clean fuels from algae; director of CSU's Clean

Energy Supercluster for speeding clean energy research to the marketplace;

and co-founder and co-director of the Global Innovation Center for Energy,

Health, and the Environment. To reach Willson, contact Emily Wilmsen at

(970) 491-2336 or

    Ken Reardon, a professor of chemical and biological engineering, can

talk about the types of organic materials that scientists are using in

biofuels and the viability of various biofuels. His biofuels-related

research began more than 20 years ago with a project on the production of

butanol from sugars and now includes studies on bioreactor design and

algae. Reardon is the CSU site director for the Colorado Center for

Biorefining and Biofuels, or C2B2. C2B2 was founded in March 2007 by the

Colorado Renewable Energy Collaboratory. To reach Reardon, contact Emily

Wilmsen at (970) 491-2336 or

    W.S. Sampath, a mechanical engineering professor, spent 16 years

perfecting his solar-cell technology and waiting for the solar market to

mature. AVA Solar Inc. will start production by the end of this year on the

pioneering, patented technology that he developed that will make the

manufacturing cost of solar cells competitive with the cost of providing

electricity on the traditional grid. Sampath developed a continuous,

automated manufacturing process for solar panels using glass coating with a

cadmium telluride thin film instead of the standard high-cost crystalline

silicon. The process can be completed more cheaply than existing

technologies because the process produces high efficiency devices at a very

high rate and yield. To speak with Sampath, contact Emily Wilmsen at (970)

491-2336 or

    Wade O. Troxell, associate dean for Research and Economic Development

in the College of Engineering, studies "smart power grid" applications that

are necessary for improving the critical U.S. electric power

infrastructure. Through his research, he explores networked distributed

energy resources related to the environment and renewable technologies,

stable and firm power systems, and the integration of renewable energy such

as wind and solar into the power market. To speak with Troxell, contact

Emily Wilmsen at (970) 491-2336 or

    Paul Hudnut, a longtime entrepreneur currently teaching management in

the College of Business, works with business and engineering students to

develop sustainable business plans for technological advancements emerging

from the university's Engines and Energy Conversion Laboratory - plans that

are in use in such countries as the Philippines and India. He is a founder

of the business college's Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise master's

degree program and the Global Innovation Center for Energy, Health and the

Environment in the engines lab. To reach Hudnut, contact Emily Wilmsen at

(970) 491-2336 or

    Tom Dean, associate professor of strategy and entrepreneurship,

researches entrepreneurship and sustainability, and the economic

opportunities inherent in the transition to a sustainable economy. Dean is

an expert in a broad variety of topics related to sustainability,

environmental issues, and business, but his specific expertise is in the

area of clean technology entrepreneurship and sustainable venturing. He is

an expert in sectors such as natural products, green building, renewable

energy, energy efficiency, and opportunities in a carbon-constrained world.

To speak with Dean, contact Emily Wilmsen at (970) 491-2336 or

    William Parton, senior research scientist at Colorado State's Natural

Resources Ecology Laboratory, or NREL, can discuss how different crops used

for biofuels have varying effects on decreasing the amount of greenhouse

gas emissions into the atmosphere. Parton also can talk about the effects

global warming will have on the eastern plains of Colorado, Wyoming,

Montana and the western parts of North and South Dakota. Additionally, he

has experience studying the potential impact of climatic changes for forest

and savanna systems at local, regional and global scales. To speak with

Parton, contact Kimberly Sorensen at (970) 491-0757 or

    Jan Leach is a University Distinguished Professor in the Department of

Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management at CSU. A microbiologist and

plant pathologist, Leach is an authority on the molecular biology of how

plants and pathogens interact; she studies how plants defend themselves

against pathogens. Leach has examined issues surrounding rice as a grass

model for discovery and testing. To speak with Leach, contact Jim Beers at

(970) 491-6401 or

    Public policy and the environment

    Bill Farland, vice president for Research at Colorado State University,

serves as co-chairman of CSU President Larry Penley's Committee on

Sustainability and the Environment. Before joining CSU in late 2006,

Farland was the highest ranking scientist at the Environmental Protection

Agency. His 27-year federal career has been characterized by a commitment

to the development of national and international approaches to

interdisciplinary research, and testing and assessment of the fate and

effects of environmental agents. To speak with Farland, contact Emily

Wilmsen at (970) 491-2336 or

    Michele Betsill, associate professor in the Department of Political

Science, teaches courses in international relations, global environmental

politics and qualitative research methods. Her research focuses on global

environmental governance with particular emphasis on the politics of

climate change. Prior to coming to CSU, she was a post-doctoral fellow with

the Global Environmental Assessment project at Harvard's Kennedy School of

Government. To speak with Betsill, contact Kimberly Sorensen at (970)

491-0757 or

    Keith Paustian, soil and crop sciences professor and senior research

scientist at NREL, can discuss the role agriculture industry can play in

greenhouse gas mitigation. Paustian also can talk about agricultural

greenhouse gas emissions and carbon sequestration for the United States

inventory. Paustian also is involved in developing accounting tools for

farmer and ranchers to receive credit under the United States voluntary

greenhouse gas reduction program. To speak with Paustian, contact Kimberly

Sorensen at (970) 491-0757 or

    Holmes Rolston III is widely recognized as the father of environmental

ethics as an academic discipline. He has shaped the essential nature, scope

and issues of the discipline. A University Distinguished Professor of

philosophy at Colorado State and a noted author, Rolston said he's seeing

an evolution of clergy concerned about better stewardship for the Earth. He

teaches environmental ethics at Colorado State. To speak with Rolston,

contact Kimberly Sorensen at (970) 491-0757 or


    School of Global Environmental Sustainability

    In 2008, CSU created the School of Global Environmental Sustainability

and it is one of the few schools of the environment not housed in any one

college at a university. The school spans all eight colleges on campus and

streamlines the university's internationally recognized environmental

research to prepare students for the growing green workforce. The school

positions CSU to address multiple challenges to global sustainability

through broad-based research, curricular and outreach initiatives. Students

will have the opportunity to complement their majors with environmental

courses, which will help prepare them to solve increasingly complex global

environmental challenges. To speak with Diana Wall, internationally

renowned environmental scientist and founding director of the school,

contact Kimberly Sorensen at (970) 491-0757 or

    Changing Climates @ CSU

    Changing Climates @ CSU encompasses a network of faculty and

researchers from every college at CSU whose interests and research coalesce

around climate change. The program helps faculty across campus add climate

content to their course curriculum and provide an outlet for them to not

only teach about climate change but to educate themselves on the different

aspects of the issue with an annual lecture series. For more information

about Changing Climates @ CSU, contact Kimberly Sorensen at (970) 491-0757


    Colorado State Forest Service

    CSU operates the Colorado State Forest Service with a mission to

provide for the stewardship of the state's forest resources and to reduce

related risks to live, property and the environment for the benefit of

present and future generations. The Colorado State Forest Service is one of

five forest service agencies across the nation operated by a university.

For more information about the Colorado State Forest Service, contact

Kimberly Sorensen at (970) 491-0757 or

    Colorado State Extension

    CSU Extension makes extensive educational information available to the

public about topics such as water conservation in and around the home,

xeriscaping, graywater reuse and rainwater harvesting, operating a home

irrigation system and more. Extension is located in 59 of Colorado's 65

counties. For more information on CSU Extension, contact Jim Beers at (970)

491-6401 or

    Agricultural Experiment Station

    Colorado State University researchers, through the Department of Soil

and Crop Sciences and the CSU Agricultural Experiment Station have

conducted research on several varieties of crops used for biodiesel

production to determine oilseed yields, including sunflowers, mustard and

canola. For information and contacts about a particular crop, contact Jim

Beers at (970) 491-6401 or

    Engines and Energy Conversion Laboratory

    Bryan Willson is the director of the Engines and Energy Conversion

Laboratory, which is confronting the global energy challenge through

innovative research. The laboratory has earned international accolades for

finding creative solutions to some of the world's largest energy problems

and developing entrepreneurial models that benefit the human condition and

achieve global impact. Among the technological successes from the engines

lab are the creation of a clean-burning two-stroke engine retrofit kit that

is now being sold to taxi drivers in the Philippines; a safe and efficient

cookstove developed for commercialization in developing nations where

indoor air pollution is the leading cause of death for women and children

under age 5; and a process to mass produce algae into biodiesel at a cost

that is competitive with the wholesale price of crude petroleum. For a tour

of the engines lab or to speak with Willson, contact Emily Wilmsen at (970)

491-2336 or

    Institute for the Built Environment

    Brian Dunbar is executive director of the Institute for the Built

Environment and professor of construction management at Colorado State

University. Dunbar's teaching, research and project work focuses on

environmentally sustainable design and construction materials, methods and

systems. He also coordinates the graduate emphasis in sustainable building

at Colorado State and has developed university and professional courses on

sustainable building. The Institute for the Built Environment is an

interdisciplinary research institute that teaches students and industry

professionals healthy and sustainable building strategies. Brian is a LEED

faculty member with the U.S. Green Building Council and serves on the

Greening Schools committee for Colorado Chapter of the U.S. Green Building

Council. To speak with Dunbar, contact Dell Rae Moellenberg at (970)

491-6009 or

    Colorado Water Institute

    The Colorado Water Institute at CSU exists for the express purpose of

focusing the water expertise of higher education on the evolving water

concerns and problems being faced by Colorado citizens. In 1964, Congress

authorized the establishment of a water resources research institute in

each state to develop, implement, and coordinate water and water-related

research programs in the state, and transferring the results of research to

potential users. To speak with Reagan Waskom, director of the institute,

contact Emily Wilmsen at (970) 491-2336 or

    Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere

    CIRA is a center for international cooperation that was established in

1980 to increase the effectiveness of atmospheric research between Colorado

State and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. CIRA's

research products help scientists around the globe understand atmospheric

changes that affect weather and climate. To speak with Graeme Stephens,

director of CIRA, contact Emily Wilmsen at (970) 491-2336 or


    Dr. Mo Salman, veterinary epidemiologist in the College of Veterinary

Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, can discuss the importance of

international education, infrastructure and relationships to support food

safety and protect the security of the global food supply in today's

world-wide market. Salman travels around the world, including Indonesia,

Iraq and Somalia, to educate public and animal health authority about

diseases such as avian influenza that threaten animal and human

populations, and to rebuild animal care and food safety infrastructure in

countries torn by war, famine and drought. To speak with Salman, contact

Dell Rae Moellenberg at (970) 491-6009 or


    Steven Shulman, a professor of economics at CSU since 1984 and current

department chair, teaches and writes about economic inequality; poverty and

discrimination; immigration; education; and family structure. To speak with

Shulman, contact Kimberly Sorensen at (970) 491-0757 or

    Anita Alves Pena is an assistant professor of economics. Pena's studies

and interests include the effects of public policies on illegal and legal

immigrants, with particular emphasis on effects of welfare and education

programs, minimum wages, and border patrol on those working in the

agricultural sector. Pena's research has included topics relating to

location choice, labor market outcomes and amnesty programs. To speak with

Pena, contact Kimberly Sorensen at (970) 491-0757 or

    Stephen Mumme, political science professor, has studied and is

interested in Mexican immigration to the United States; U.S. and Mexico

bi-national water issues; and North American environmental cooperation

efforts. To speak with Mumme, contact Kimberly Sorensen at (970) 491-0757


    Maria Puig, a professor of social work, is an expert on the effects of

immigration on societies and families. Puig can discuss how government

interactions affect children, their parents, society and minority cultures

with a special emphasis on child welfare. To speak with Puig, contact Dell

Rae Moellenberg at (970) 491-6009 or


    Ray Hogler, a management professor in the College of Business and a

Fulbright Distinguished Chair of Labor Law, has studied American labor

relations and unions for 32 years. He spent spring 2007 teaching in the

economics department at the University of Tuscia in Italy, where he

researched Italy's pension reforms and their implications for U.S.

retirement programs. He is the author of a textbook titled "Employment

Relations in the United States," and he has written several articles on

Colorado's right to work law and public sector labor relations. To reach

Hogler, contact Emily Wilmsen at (970) 491-2336 or

    Dimitris Stevis, a professor of political science, is available to

discuss issues around labor and unions. He specializes in environmental and

labor regulation under conditions of regional and international

integration. Stevis recently co-authored a new book that focuses on labor

unions as a driving force in promoting global democracy. To speak with

Stevis, contact Kimberly Sorensen at (970) 491-0757 or

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